How can I have compassion when I try so hard to avoid suffering?
For the basis of compassion is suffering, and its meaning is to suffer together.
The compassionate opens his heart and mind to the pain and misery of others, and accepts them and allows them to move him – into alleviating their suffering.
This is the noble destiny of bodhisattvas-to-be. Look around us. They do live around us. The difficult emotional ones who feel so much. The ones who help so much and often regret and complain so much too. The ones being called stupid by ignorant people. The ones being hurt and stepped upon by insecure people.
This is the arduous destiny of bodhisattvas-to-be. Compassion.